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A Millennial's Personal Sustainability Survival Guide

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - When I was young, my grandfather placed stickers saying ‘Turn off if unnecessary’ on light switches, ‘Close the tap while brushing your teeth’ on the sink, and ‘Did you unplug all unnecessary electronics?’ next to the front door. Even though I thought it was weird and controlling at the time, they were my first introductions to sustainability. That, and I was the only one in my elementary school with a cotton handkerchief when all my friends blew their noses with fancy Kleenex pack-by-packs. I also grew up listening to my mother’s best friend, who worked with Greenpeace for over two decades, and became inspired by her exotic stories — chaining herself in protest in various places, or going to Southern Ocean to save the whales.

Changing the Way Non-Financial Performance Is Measured, and Thus Managed, in Pursuit of Future-Fit Businesses

NEW METRICS - Think of a company, any company. Got one? OK. Now ask yourself this: Is the company truly sustainable, in everything it does and sells? If not, then how must the company change before it is?

IKEA, Mars, Novelis, Unilever Among 233 Companies Expressing Support for EPA's Clean Power Plan

COLLABORATION - Marking the end of the comment period on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, 223 companies have announced their support for EPA’s proposed carbon standard for electric power plants, including IKEA, Mars Inc., VF Corporation, Novelis, Levi Strauss, Unilever and Nestlé.

Carbios Makes New Advances in Reduction of Plastic Waste Through Enzymatic Depolymerization

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Carbios, a French green chemistry company specializing in technologies dedicated to the recovery of plastic waste and the production of bio-polymers, recently announced that it has successfully managed to depolymerize 90 percent of polylactic acid (PLA) material — a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, commonly used in everything from chip bags to toothpaste tubes — in only 48 hours, using its cutting-edge enzymatic process.

#SB14London: How Anglian Water Is Guiding Users to 'Keep It Clear'

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - After a roundtable discussion hosted by Business in the Community, I sat down with Collette Parker of Anglian Water’s customer engagement program to find out more about the opportunities and challenges facing this UK water utility service.

J&J, HP, Kaiser Discuss Effective Metrics, Messaging in Push for Sustainability in Healthcare

NEW METRICS - On Wednesday, I had the pleasure to attend Metrics that Matter, Messages that Motivate — Making the Right Case for Sustainability in Healthcare, an event hosted by The Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (Wharton IGEL) and Johnson & Johnson at Wharton’s West coast campus in San Francisco. Geoffrey Garrett, recently named dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, kicked things off by emphasizing the importance of sustainability in every area of our daily lives.

LEGO Ends 50-Year Partnership with Shell After 6M People Campaign to Save the Arctic

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Following an extensive multimedia Greenpeace campaign, LEGO published a statement this morning committing to "not renew the co-promotion contract with Shell."

#NewMetrics ’14: Catching Up with SASB

NEW METRICS - The third morning workshop on Wednesday, day one of New Metrics ’14, at MIT Sloan School of Business, gave us a closer look at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), its process and its progress to date since its founding in 2012.

Shell Unveils First Soccer Field Powered by Players' Footsteps

CLEANTECH - Shell and Brazilian soccer player Pelé this week showcased a first-of-its-kind soccer field capable of capturing kinetic energy created by players' movement and combining it with nearby solar power to generate renewable electricity.Located in the heart of Morro da Mineira, a Rio de Janeiro favela, the soccer field uses 200 high-tech, underground tiles that capture kinetic energy created by the movement of the players. The energy is then stored and combined with the power generated by solar panels next to the field to convert into renewable electricity for the new floodlights, giving everyone in the favela a safe and secure community space at night.

BASF Evaluating Entire Product Portfolio for Sustainability

NEW METRICS - In order to better help its customers align environmental and societal considerations with business success, BASF has developed a new process for steering its portfolio based on sustainability criteria. Launched today, the Sustainable Solution Steering method is used to systematically review and evaluate the sustainability aspects of the approximately 50,000 relevant product applications in the company’s portfolio, which represent sales of €56 billion. The benefit: This externally validated process makes it possible to measure the products’ contribution to sustainability within their various markets and industries and to increase this contribution through targeted steps.

UCSB, Presidio Graduate School Top Rankings for Sustainability and Social Impact

MARKETING AND COMMS - First published by Net Impact in 2006, 'Business as UNusual' is the only publication for students, by students that ranks and highlights graduate schools at the forefront of social and environmental innovation.

Survey: 81% of Chemical Producers Now Aim to Be Frontrunner in Sustainability

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Sustainable chemical technology company Genomatica has published the results of a major survey of sustainability issues in the mainstream chemical industry that shows the topic is now considered a high priority in the field, with Genomatica itself ranking alongside industry giants such as BASF and Dow that come to mind when respondents think of those leading the charge.

Clothing Companies Going Beyond Compliance with Better Mill Initiative

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - By creating an enabling environment to establish novel internal-management systems, Solidaridad's Better Mill Initiative has equipped textile-factory managers and workers to improve working conditions and livelihoods, and reduce the environmental impact of the factories.

Napa Green Wines: Not Shouting It From the Rooftops

MARKETING AND COMMS - Of the 50 certified wineries, surprisingly, only three have opted to display the Napa Green logo on their labels — despite the time and cost involved in obtaining those certifications — so, I dug a little deeper.

Can Chipotle Learn About Food Integrity from McDonald's?

MARKETING AND COMMS - McDonald’s Canada’s experience is evidence that social media is pushing transparency mainstream, and that for them the risks have been worth the rewards of increased customer trust.

Hackers Help Chipotle, Applegate Re-Engineer the Future of Dining

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Food+Tech Connect's recent Hack//Dining hackathon in New York City has yielded some insightful solutions to big problems faced by the dining industry. The call to “re-engineer the future of food” was answered by nearly 200 hackers who spent the weekend trying to use technology to find answers for a more sustainable industry.“The problems in the food industry are complex, and they aren’t going to be solved in a weekend,” said Danielle Gould, founder of Food+Tech Connect. “The point is to get new ideas into circulation, new people working on this, and to do rapid prototyping — to actually make a real product in a weekend.”

How to Communicate Effectively with Young Consumers (Or, Lessons from 'Funny or Die')

MARKETING AND COMMS - When an irreverent spoof video can increase web traffic to the Affordable Care Act website by 40% in less than a day, understanding why can help your brand better communicate with young consumers.

West Elm's Artisan Partnerships Supporting Thousands in Developing Communities

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - In 2013, West Elm committed to invest $35M in artisan partnerships around the world through 2015. These partnerships create a number of benefits for both West Elm and the artisans they collaborate with.

Greenpeace to LEGO: 'Shell Is Bad Company'

MARKETING AND COMMS - Greenpeace has launched a campaign urging LEGO to #BlockShell and end its partnership with the oil company, which the NGO contends has been using LEGO’s brand to clean up its image as an Arctic oil driller.

Employee Engagement = Happy Talent = Higher Revenue

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - What if 100 percent of your employees were engaged in your business? According to Gallup, that would translate to an increase of anywhere from $450-550B in increased revenue for US companies alone. Those are daunting numbers in the macro. But what matters is how it translates to your business. Even if it were only 1 percent of your revenue, wouldn’t you want to know?